You and I were born into a troubled world with a world of troubles! Your family had troubles as you were growing up. When you were old enough to go to school your math teacher gave you problems. As you went out onto your own you inherited your own troubles and did your best not to create new ones. You go to work and find troubles and then you come home and find other troubles. Then you turn on the news to hear about the troubles all around the world. You go to church on Sunday only to find out there are problems there! There is only one place you know that doesn’t have troubles but the problem is you have to die to get there!
Before we go any further, let’s pause to define what we mean by “troubles”. In verse one of Psalm 46 it says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble” – the word for trouble literally means – “a tight place”. Ever been in a tight place? For someone who is claustrophobic tight places mean big trouble!
I THINK THERE ARE THREE MAIN CAUSES OF TROUBLE:
1) Not Obeying God’s Word
2) Obeying God’s Word
3) Fallout And Shrapnel From A Fallen World
SEVERAL WAYS WE TRY TO DEAL WITH TROUBLE:
1) Try to minimize them away
2) Try to medicate them away
3) Try to meditate them away
I like what the Psalmist did – rather than minimize the trouble or medicate himself, he MAXIMIZED HIS GOD in the face of trouble! The 46th Psalm reflects that and as we continue our “Summer In the Psalms” series. Here is a guy who had a lot of troubles but who through those troubles came to understand that he had a REALLY BIG GOD!
David’s approach is summarized in verse 10 -- “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” -- and then detailed throughout the rest of the chapter, so lets jump in and get started!
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us the God of Jacob is our fortress."
I. BE STILL – God Is Your Refuge! Vv. 1-3
When you are troubled and under pressure or in pain you really need to be careful what you say. Don’t allow your pain or frustration to cause you to speak for you. That never turns out well and the last thing you need in troubled times is more trouble from self-inflicted wounds!
As your mother told you hundreds of times – “IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!” – Be still and know that He IS God!
God is a refuge! A refuge is a shelter – a safe place – a place of rest………
A. God Is A Personal Refuge, V. 1 – “God is our refuge…..”
(God = “Elohim” = Triune God)
B. God Is A Present Refuge, V. 1b – “…a very present help in trouble”
(VERY Present = Immediate)
C. God Is A Permanent Refuge, V. 2
(Four “Thoughs” = PERMANENT)
The Psalmist David is urging you to be the strong silent type – YOU BE SILENT AND KNOW THAT HE IS STRONG!
II. BE STRONG – God Is Your River! Vv. 4-7
A. It Satisfies, V. 4a – “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God”
B. It Sanctifies, V. 4b. – “the holy place where the Most High dwells.”
C. It Strengthens, V. 5 – “God is within her, she will not fall”
D. It Stands, Vv. 6 – 7 – “The Lord Almighty is with us…..”
WHEN TROUBLES COME AND ENEMIES MASS AGAINST YOU TO ATTACK – YOU HAVE A REFUGE – God Is Your Refuge
WHEN TROUBLES COME AND ENEMIES MASS AGAINST YOU TO ATTACK – YOU HAVE A RIVER – HOLY SPIRIT
III. BE SURE – God Is Your Ruler, Vv. 8-11
How do you get to be sure that God can help you through troubles?
That’s RIGHT! When you see Him bring your through trouble!
How many of you have seen God bring your through trouble?
David says if you want to be sure Who God is:
A. Behold! - Vv. 8-9 – “Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolation he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.”
B. Believe!, Vv. 10-11 – “He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
a. Believe In His Person
b. Believe In His Plan – “I will be exalted among the heathen”
c. Believe In His Presence – “The Lord of hosts is with us”
ARE YOU FACING SOME TROUBLES RIGHT NOW?
DON’T MINIMIZE THEM – DON’T MEDICATE THEM
MAXIMIZE YOUR GOD!
YOU SAY, “PASTOR BRAD, HOW CAN I DO THAT. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH I AM HURTING!”
THREE GOOD REASONS:
God the Father is your Refuge!
God the Holy Spirit is your River!
God the Son is your Ruler!
I CORINTHIANS 10:13
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:16-18
WHAT IS TROUBLE TO YOU IS A TEST TO GOD! WHEN YOU ARE IN TROUBLE YOU JUST WANT TO GET OUT BUT GOD HAS SOMETHING HE WANTS TO GET OUT OF YOU! AND IF YOU WILL BE FAITHFUL IN YOUR TROUBLES YOUR TEST WILL BECOME A TESTIMONY FOR YOU!